|Field of Study:||Biochemistry/Biophysics and Molecular Biology
|Description:||Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BCMB) investigates how molecules work in living systems. There is no clear line dividing living from non-living systems; rather, there is a gradual increase in complexity from clearly inanimate molecules up to obviously complex organisms. The goal of biochemistry and molecular biology is to understand how simple, inanimate molecular interactions support life.
The BCMB major has two main components: learning about molecules and learning about the scientific method. The former involves acquiring expertise in the foundations of biochemistry, such as organic and physical chemistry, and then exploring biological molecules and how they operate in living systems. The latter involves exploring how science asks questions to understand the workings of nature, while developing competence in laboratory skills and analysis. These two aspects are linked because an understanding of how information is acquired is as important as the information itself, since different experimental systems can yield different insights into complex biological problems. BCMB majors continue on to successful careers in a diverse range of fields, notably medicine, teaching, pharmacy, the biotechnology industry, science policy, and law. BCMB majors acquire strong skills in laboratory techniques, and are therefore qualified for many kinds of research positions, including graduate programs such as immunology, molecular genetics, and developmental biology. BCMB majors are encouraged to pursue their interests by combining BCMB with minors in other fields, such as computer science, physics, business, or education.